New Suitcase Offers Nothing New, Gets Big Writeup in Slate

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Today, in what is apparently not an ad, Slate is running an ad for Away, a fabulous new carry-on suitcase designed by two former Warby Parker executives. Here’s the skinny:

To create their carry-on, Rubio and Korey spoke with thousands of people to determine what travelers look for most. They found that many consumers want attractive, well-constructed luggage that provides organization and….

With that in mind, they created a carry-on that has four durable double wheels—a design detail that alone took 20 designs iterations to get right—plus a laundry separation system that keeps belongings organized, YKK zippers that provide stability, and a….

Hmmm. So far that sounds like pretty much every other carry-on suitcase in the galaxy. But wait! What’s behind those ellipses? This:

….and a built-in 10,000 mAh battery that can be charged beforehand and power a smartphone up to five times during a trip.

So let me get this straight. The big selling point of this suitcase is that it includes a built-in battery that’s a lot less convenient than a standalone battery you can put anywhere you want? Or is it just that it has a special pocket for a battery? Either way, who cares? Buy a suitcase and a 10,000 mAh battery (about 20 bucks on Amazon) and you’ll have the same thing the Warby Parker execs are hawking. And probably pay less.

What am I missing? Why did Slate run this?

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We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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